Health

Technology Allows Parents To Choose Baby’s Traits

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PGD or preimplantation genetic diagnosis is allowing parents to choose the gender of their baby.

PGD or preimplantation genetic diagnosis is allowing parents to choose the gender of their baby.

CBS Los Angeles (con't)

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LOS ANGELES - Would you pick your baby’s features? One local doctor says he’s about to offer the service to would-be parents.

The miracle of childbirth… some soon-to-be parents don’t even want to know the sex of their baby. But what if you could choose the baby’s features, would you… the eye color, hair color? At L.A.’s Fertility Institutes, they say that you can…

“I would predict that by next year, we would have determined the sex with 100% certainty on a baby, and we will have determined eye color with 80 % accuracy rate,” Dr. Jeff Steinberg, a fertility expert, said.

The technology is not new; it’s called PGD or preimplantation genetic diagnosis. First used to screen for disease, then for gender selection, now this clinic will allow parents to choose physical traits.

Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg considers himself on the cutting edge of invitro fertilization.

“I think it’s very important that we not bury our heads in the sand and pretend that these advances are not happening,” Steinberg said.

So where is all this headed, eyes, hair, maybe even height and athletic ability? Some people, some doctors are against these so-called designer babies – saying among other things, it could lead to decreased diversity, false expectations on the children and some even say there should be a law against it.

Kirsten and Matt Landon used Steinberg’s clinic to select the sex of their daughter; choosing other genetic traits that intrigue them.

“I would have considered trait selection as an option, but not necessarily have gone with it,” Matt Landon said.

A recent U.S. survey suggests most people support the notion of using genetic testing to eliminate serious diseases. But Dr. Steinberg says using technology for cosmetic reasons shouldn’t scare people away.

“Of course, once I’ve got this science, am I not to provide this to my patients? I’m a physician. I want to provide everything science gives me to my patients,” Steinberg said.

Dr Steinberg says he knows the process won’t be exact, but as technology progresses so will the success rate. This fertility treatment will also focus on the pigment of a baby’s skin.

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